The Importance of Regional PR

regional PR blog post

When we think of successful PR, it can be easy to jump straight to the big national newspapers, the glossy double-page magazine features, and the shows broadcast to the nation.

The desire for national media coverage is understandable, we all want it, we all work for it, and we certainly achieve it – but we’re also firm believers in the power of regional PR.

For anyone thinking ‘surely regional PR can’t benefit me half as much as national’, we’re here to show you how you could be missing out …

So, what exactly is regional PR?

Trying to address a whole nation with one message can get confusing – after all, there are numerous cultural and social variations which set us apart, meaning that what resonates with one person could mean nothing to another.

When we focus on regional PR, we’re tailoring our strategy to focus on specific geographical areas, zooming in on certain communities, towns, or counties which are particularly key to our product.

By doing this we can achieve 3 things:

  1. Relevance

We identify the areas with those who are likely to be interested in what we have to say, ensuring we’re targeting a relevant audience.

  1. Connection

Once we’ve identified our key audience(s), we can tailor our language, accessibility and cultural references (to name a few!) to make our message unique to the localised area and resonate with our audience – thus, a connection is formed.

  1. Engagement

Now we’ve got the attention of our audience, and formed a positive personal connection whereby the audience feels valued, we’re more likely to see meaningful engagement.

In short – regional PR helps us add that all-important human touch, gaining trust and proving authenticity.

Options, options, options …

Many people assume that regional PR is limited to your local village newsletter and, while we wouldn’t advise snubbing these (you can gain a lot from hyperlocal news!) – this isn’t the be all and end all. Common types of regional PR involve:

  1. Online and print

This is your typical route – local newspapers, flyers, magazines, events pages, social media groups. If you’re from Birmingham (like us!), think Birmingham Live, Solihull Observer, The Phoenix Newspaper.

  1. TV

Your local news channels are vital for providing a trusted source of local, community-focussed updates. Getting your brand featured is a great way to showcase the benefits to your region and raise your profile.

  1. Radio

Don’t underestimate the power of your local radio station – you’d be surprised how well a strong discussion or catchy slogan can stick in your mind! Local stations are fantastic at bringing communities together and initiating a conversation.

  1. Influencers

Influencers are becoming an ever-popular way for brands to share their messages and products with potential customers – using relatability and trust to sway purchases. Tapping into local influencers is a great way to resonate further within the local community and, crucially, your target market, as well as boost credibility and authenticity – and usually at a fraction of the cost of relying on celebrities.

Overall, no matter which you secure what you’re doing is raising your profile in the area which your product has most potential – and opening up your exposure to potential customers and investors.

Enough of the good – what about the dark side?

No one wants to focus on the negatives but, no matter how established your brand, the odd crisis situation (big or small) is inevitable – and having a good crisis strategy is even more important.

Regional PR is a great first step when handling a crisis for a number of reasons:

  1. Friends in high places

If you’re regularly sending news and stories to regional journalists, you will likely have established a strong relationship. In a crisis, having those key contacts on hand will give you a better chance of getting your response out there quicker and with all of your key messages intact.

  1. Keeping it local

Exactly what it says on the tin – you’re keeping things local. If you can handle the situation regionally (i.e. before the national news gets a whiff) then whatever the issue is, less people will be talking about it. Your reputation is saved!

  1. Your support network is near

If you’ve been doing this a while, you will already have a strong foundation of trust built within target market. Yes, they might have spotted your issue – but they will have also read countless positive press from you and be more understanding.

Okay, I’m sold! What can I do?

To get the best results, you’ll need to have a clearcut idea of your goals and stakeholders – know your target audience inside out, including their colloquialisms, local sports teams and current issues.

You’ll need to adapt your messaging to include the correct language and format, and ensure you’re targeting those PR channels which are best suited – not everything will work for both traditional media and broadcast.

Finally, make sure you’re evaluating the success of each piece of coverage. This will help you find out what works well and what isn’t so well received so you can tailor your approach.

 

For more help perfecting your regional PR strategy, get in touch to find out how we can help your brand.

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